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72 Hours in Melbourne: Loving the Laneways

January 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM | by | ()

Yesterday, we gave you a birds-eye view over Melbourne and today our feet are firmly planted on the ground. With only a day remaining, let's explore the little nooks of the city: the iconic laneways!

First, a little background. The city is considered the culture capital of Australia and with that comes the love of fashion, food and a general joie de vivre. The weather can get quite chilly here (the mercury, abnormally, hovered around 75 degrees for our visit), so the style is that of more Northern Hemisphere flare.

When wandering around Melbourne proper, the usual shopping and tourist districts should make it on your itinerary. But the places not-to-be-missed are the laneways. In America, we would call them alleys, and usually they're for putting trash cans out, but here they're vibrant little arteries with cafes, and a few also play host to boutiques and shops.

Walk down a street and though it seems empty, the sound of silverware clinking on plates and the jolly conversation of friends over a coffee will keep you company. This is a great indicator that a lively laneway is just around the corner and you are definitely in need of a 'flat white' and a toastie. (translation: cafe au lait and toasted sandwich)

Many laneways reflect the artistic side of the city and will acts as canvases for local graffiti artists. Looking down an alley, one darkened by towering buildings, to see bright splashes of paint forming geometric art will put a smile on anyone's dial. Oftentimes you'll find hordes of people doing nothing but snapping photos of street art to show their friends at home.

Insider tip: Take some time to act like a local and head off the beaten path. Every city will have boatloads of restaurants in high traffic areas, but in Melbourne, the best places can be found right there in the alley.

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak for Jaunted]

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